Chocolate, Orange, & Guinness Cake with Date Butter Filing

Culture is such an interesting thing. St. Patrick’s day started as a day of feast celebrating a particularly persuasive fundamentalist christian and his deeds. Some how over the centuries Irish culture and then later western culture changed the holiday into what we celebrate today, primarily through lots of merry drinking.

I wonder sometimes how our Canadian culture will evolve? Will the nation celebrate red green day with redneck festivities and duct tape craft fares? Or will we ironically celebrate our past with hoser day a history of the great white north?

Baba Cake

Ap Flour 500g
Eggs 8
Salt 1tsp
Sugar 7tbs
Fresh Yeast 30g
Softened Butter 250g
Milk 100ml

Guinness Syrup

Guinness beer 2 bottles
Sugar 102g
Honey 2tbs

Date Butter

Dates 500g
Butter 50g
Orange zest and juice 1
Water 250ml
Cinnamon 1tsp
All Spice 1tsp
Salt 1 pinch

Chocolate Orange Butter Cream

Egg whites 6
Sugar 408g
Butter 454g
Dark Chocolate 225g
Orange zest 1

“ The only difference between the saint and the sinner is that every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.” Oscar Wilde

On with the show!

This cake is made with a yeast raised French sweet bread that is usually soaked in a simple syrup, such as the french dessert Baba Au Rhum. In this case I have soaked the cake in a Guinness syrup.

Lets start with the baba cake; heat the milk and butter in a sauce pot until simmering, (this kills any enzymes in the milk that could kill the yeast) cool the milk in the fridge until it reaches room temp. Dissolve the yeast in the milk and using a dough hook mix the milk into the dry ingredients fallowed by the eggs, mix until a uniform dough is formed. Place the dough in a large bowl with enough room for it to double in size and cover it with saran wrap, place the dough somewhere warm and let it rise to double it’s size.

Place the butter somewhere warm to soften up for the Swiss butter cream. Now for the date butter filling place all of the ingredients in a pot and bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes stirring periodically. The dates should be broken down and the butter should be nice and thick, place the mixture in a container and refrigerate until later.

Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit then heavily butter two 8” round cake pans so that you can visibly see a cloudy coating on the pan. For the Guinness syrup pour two bottles of Guinness along with half a cup of sugar and 2 tbs of honey. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes,and then remove from the heat and place it aside until needed.

Once the baba dough has doubled in size carefully scrape it into the two cake pans, being careful not to deflate it, bake for 15 minutes, rotate and bake for another 15 minutes. The cake should be evenly golden brown and a knife should come out clean when inserted in the middle. As soon as the cakes come out brush them with the Guinness syrup, do this two more times waiting a few minutes between each brushing.

Now for the chocolate orange Swiss butter cream, whisk the egg whites and sugar together with the orange zest and warm over a double boiler until it reaches 138 degrees Fahrenheit, be sure to whisk the egg whites periodically. Whip on medium high speed until stiff peeks form, slowly add the softened butter an 1/8th of a cup at a time. Turn to high speed and continue to whip the butter cream (it will re emulsify with in time); meanwhile melt the dark chocolate over a double boiler. Fold the melted chocolate into the butter cream cover with saran wrap and place aside until you are ready to decorate the cake.

Time to decorate the cake, start by using a bread knife to cut off the dome from each cake then cut each cake in half to make four 8” circles. Place a little dollop of icing down on your cake board place one of the circles on the board then evenly brush with Guinness syrup, pipe a ring of butter cream around the perimeter of the cake this will stop the filling from getting into your icing when you make your crumb coat. Spread a quarter centimeter thick layer of date butter staying inside the butter cream ring. Repeat this until you have your four layer cake and then flat ice the cake with the chocolate Swiss butter cream, fallow this link to see an excellent video of Amanda Oakleaf explaining how to flat ice a cake.

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